Monday, April 27, 2015

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge: Goals

May Clean Sweep ARC Challenge
Clean Sweep ARC Challenge hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer

For a list of rules and to sign up to participate, go HERE.

Whenever I seem to be lacking in inspiration to get through the way too many books I have, I find participating in a challenge can help. This challenge is perfect! I currently have 24 ebook ARC's from Netgalley and 1 ebook ARC from an author that are unread. I'm under no false allusion that I'll even make it through half of these...but if I can get 4 or 5 read I'll be happy.

So, here are my goals for this May challenge (listed in no particular order):

1. Light of a Thousand Stars, True Calling #2.5 by Siobhan Davis, publish date: May 1, 2015

2. Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking, publish date: May 5, 2015 (participating in blog tour on May 11, 2015

3. The Shattered Court (A Novel of the Four Arts #1) by M.J. Scott, publish date: April 28, 2015

4. Alive by Scott Sigler, publish date: July 14, 2015

5. The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman, publish date: April 14, 2015

6. Deep (Stage Dive #4) by Kylie Scott, publish date: March 31, 2015 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Post #123

Sunday Post is a weekly post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Each week bloggers participate to share any books received and news from their week.

Click on the book covers to be taken to its Goodreads page. The Buy Link, if available, is below each book cover.

~PURCHASED OR FREEBIES~
Snow Like Ashes #1 by Sara Raasch
Buy Link: Amazon ($1.99 at time of purchase)

~FOR REVIEW~
Alive by Scott Sigler
Preorder Buy Link: Amazon

RECAP OF WEEK:
SUNDAY:

MONDAY:
Review - Burnt Devotion (Imdalind #5) by Rebecca Ethington (3 stars)

WEDNESDAY:

THURSDAY:

FRIDAY:
Feature & Follow #58: Blog Title story

SATURDAY:

WHAT'S AHEAD:
Tentative Posts:
Teaser Tuesday
Waiting on Wednesday
Feature & Follow
Planned Posts:
ARC Thursday Review - Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis

The rain finally, mostly, ended and we were back to normal routines of softball games and beautiful sunshine days. As we count down the days to the end of the school year for my kids (18 for my 7th grader and 20 for my 5th grader), that also means (hopefully) a countdown to more time to read. I am 6 books behind schedule for my Goodreads goal. YIKES!

Enjoy your week friends!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015 Series Ender Reading Challenge - April Wrap Up


It's time for our fourth Monthly Wrap Up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since posting the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - March Wrap Up, Sandy finished two series enders: Ignite Me (Shatter Me, # 3) by Tahereh Mafi & Asa (Marked Men, # 6) by Jay Crownover. Holly's been a slacker since January and didn't get any series enders finished again this month. :-)


Which series enders did you finish? Link up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the April giveaway runs from April 25th - May 25th. On May 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.





Friday, April 24, 2015

Feature & Follow #58

Feature & Follow is a weekly post hosted by Parakunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

"The goal is to increase followers and make new friends."

The Rules:
Follow the 2 hosts.
Follow the 2 features (new each week).
Hop around and follow others that are participating, leaving a comment to let them know.
Answer this week's question in your own blog post.

This week's question:
How did you come up with your blog title and address? Does it have a special meaning for you? - suggested by The Paperback Princesses

So I started my blog back in October 2012 and wrote my second post on my blog title, originally posted here. Here is what I had/have to say about my blog title:

I find that I am always interested to know the story behind how one chooses a blog title or webpage title.  It’s always a glimpse into that person’s creative side, however small or large that may be.  So for those curious in nature, like myself, here’s the “story” of my blog title.

I read a series of books where I fell in love with 2 lines.  Both of them sparked something within me.  Perhaps since books are made up of words, these lines sparked my love all fictional books.  I’m not really sure.  The first of which specifically sparked further the desire to finally create a blog to review the books I’m reading.  I know you are anxious, so here are the lines from the book:

“Even when they’d argue, love fueled their words.”

“Words were the most powerful tool.  Simple and so often underestimated.  They could heal.  They could destroy.”

Every book ever written was indeed fueled by love from that books author.  Every blog that has ever been made or website that is personal in nature, is fueled by love from the creator.  Words mean something.  And in the land of books, words take us on a journey through worlds and times we might never have known unless we read about it.  

In the case of my blog, I love books, and I love to type out my thoughts as I review a book.  Whether I rate it very low or very high, all of my words are fueled by the love of reading.

How would you answer this question? Be sure and share how you follow and a link to your post so I can return the favor. For follows, I prefer GFC, FB, Bloglovin' and Email - all found on the right sidebar.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

*ARC* The Girl at Midnight - Review

The Girl at Midnight #1

By: Melissa Grey

Published: April 28, 2015 by Delacorte Press

368  pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo'sShadow and BoneThe Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
   Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
   Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
   Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
   But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
MY REVIEW:
An interesting fantasy about three races: humans, Avicens and Drakharins. Though all human in bodily form the Avicen have feathers for hair, strangely colored eyes and the ability to wield magic. The Drakharin have dragon scale markings on their face, most have strangely colored eyes and also have magical abilities. These two races have a centuries old war and hatred between them.

Told between alternating POV's between Echo, Caius, and Dorian, the chapters are not clear on who is speaking in the beginning of each. I always find this distracting. Often times it's not immediately clear whose perspective you're reading from and you have to read several sentences to find out. I find myself often going back to reread the previous sentences once I figure out which POV is being written so that I'm sure not to miss any vital information. I much prefer the author to note the beginning of the chapter with whose POV it is. Much like George R.R. Martin does in his books. He doesn't use chapter numbers, as there aren't in this book. But he does mark the start of each chapter with the name of the person who is speaking or thinking at that moment.

Echo, the human in the story, is a runaway orphan living in a New York library. As a young child at the age of 7 she is taken under the protection of The Ala, who is a thousand year old Avicen. Though Echo grows up considering the Avicen her family, many, if not most, of the Avicen do not accept her as one of them. Echo grows up learning a well trained art of thievery, and how to wield magic, and it's the combination of these arts that lead her down a path and a journey to tracking down something called the Firebird. It's a myth by all accounts to both the Avicen and the Drakharin, except to the few who believe it's real and will settle the war between the races once and for all.

The story has a bit of a love triangle but not a traditional one, in that I didn't feel a big connection to the first guy - perhaps because he is overshadowed by the connection between Echo and the other guy and is very minimally included in the story. I'm being vague on purpose because I don't want to spoil anything.

I found the description of the characters to be quite intriguing and beautiful. The Avicen with their feathers and the Drakharin with their dragon scales. It was a little hard to picture what they would look like. I would be interested in seeing a depiction of what the author envisions these beings to look like.

Small personal dislike: as is the case with many YA and NA books these days, there are two gay side characters. Since I'm not a fan of this lifestyle in the books I read, I felt that the flirtatiousness was a bit too much between them. In the midst of the characters running for their lives and evading capture from both of their races, it seemed unnecessary to put so much emphasis on their attraction - especially since they are side characters. I could see the author doing a novella to focus more on these two characters and perhaps it would make sense....that is IF this were a LGBT series. But it's not. So to add more to that aspect of the story would be a major thumbs down for me - possibly a deal breaker on whether I continued the series or not.

As you'll note in my language score, I rated it a "2 - medium" because for a YA novel, the amount of bad language used was quite high, given our main character is only 17 years old yet she has quite the vocabulary of colorful language.

There's action and battle and love. It's really quite a great story and I really enjoyed it. Fantasy fans should definitely check out this book! I'm highly intrigued for what's to come in book two.

Favorite Quotes:
"Sometimes," the Ala said, "when I'm feeling sad, I like to be around all these books. They're very good at making you forget your troubles. It's like having a million friends, wrapped in paper and scrawled in ink."

I am so screwed, Echo thought. Or I passed screwed five miles back.

"There are some things more important than taking sides," Caius said. 

"There's always a choice, Echo. Even if it's a bad one."

"I get that you're a bigger-picture kind of guy, but you have to have some personal stake in this. It can't just be for the greater good." ... "Nobody's that good. Nobody's that selfless."

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Until Friday Night


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Each week bloggers participate to share a book they can't wait to get their hands on.

This week I'm waiting on:

Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) by Abbi Glines
Expected Publication: September 25, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Preorder Buy Link: Amazon
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…
Yes, yes, YES! I love the idea of this series...Friday night high school football in my home state of Alabama. Plus, emotional story lines and romance? This is going to be soooo good!
What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Burnt Devotion - Review

Burnt Devotion (Imdalind #5)

By: Rebecca Ethington

Published: March 22, 2015 by Imdalind Press

158 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
It was supposed to be the final battle, the one to end Edmund’s line, his life, and free the magic Edmund had taken from the world. That was how it was foreseen. The end of the battle that has raged for centuries, unbeknownst to the mortals around them, the battle that would end with Joclyn’s death.

But it did neither.

The battle still reigns, Joclyn still lives, and the sight that was given eight hundred years ago is broken.

And it’s not the only one.

Sights that were once thought infallible have become nothing more than scattered glass, with broken pieces shattering into incorrect visages. Sain clings to the magic that he knows to be true, but there is something else, something that he is not saying. And what he does say is no longer adding up.

Something is wrong.

Ilyan and his people move through the caves, following a sight they hope to be correct, fleeing a battle that should have been the end while the battle within each of them grows with each step.

Ryland fights the monsters his father has infected him with.

Wynifred fights the confusion of who she is.

Dramin fights to live.

Prague may not survive this battle, it may be ripped to shreds… or burned to ashes.
MY REVIEW:
Burnt Devotion was initially slated to be a novella in the Imdalind series, and for whatever reasons, the author decided to make it book 5 in the series instead of a novella. This book overlaps events from book 4, Soul of Flame, but adds an extra dimension to the story by focusing on the events of the soon to be battle in Spain between Ilyan's small, mostly dysfunctional, group and Edmund and his mass of followers, told from the POV's of Wyn, Ryland and Ovalia. Later in the book we also get Joclyn's POV.

I think this story was definitely worthy of a novella....but I can't say I was excited to see it devoted as a full novel in the series. About 55% of the way through the book picks up where book 4 ended, perhaps a tiny bit farther, with Ilyan, Joclyn and crew in the dark underground tunnel that leads to Prague. Wyn used this same passage to escape Prague in the last book and it took her a week to get to them in Spain. They've escaped one battle that was supposed to be the end, and where Joclyn's death was supposed to occur, only to meet a second they saw in a sight. What used to be foretellings of the future, the sights are no longer the exact destiny that they portray though.

For whatever reasons, of which it does no good to list, it took me much longer to finish this 158 page book than it should have. Seriously guys, 10 days. And because of that I grew weary with it....thinking a couple of times of putting it down and picking up something else. But I have faith in the series and the author and wanted to push through. I knew the reasons I was struggling to finish such a short book were mostly on me.

One of the things I have loved about this series is the romance, without being graphic. It's always beautifully written and passionate. I found this book to be lacking that romance and passion. It was more about the battles and the injured. A necessary part of what's going on...but for my first love in a story I was disappointed.

Overall, it wasn't my favorite in the series. By a long shot. But any time spent in the world of Ilyan, Joclyn and Wyn is a journey that I enjoy.

One last minor dislike, total personal taste, and this is something I mentioned in my Soul of Flame review as well, is this cover. For books 3 and 4 I really dislike the covers. I get the "tattoo-like scar" on Wyn's face, but she looks ghostly - like a bad makeup job for a vampire. UGH. Just, no.

If you're new to the series check out my other reviews from the beginning:

Book 1: Kiss of Fire (4 stars)
Book 2: Eyes of Ember (5 stars)
Book 3: Scorched Treachery (5 stars)
Book 4: Soul of Flame (4 stars)

Favorite Quotes:
"You can't show love unless you know what it is to feel it. You can't recognize it until you've lost it."

"Sometimes, life takes us on bizarre journeys, and sometimes, we just need to go along for the ride."

"I don't care what anyone says," he whispered; "you were made for me."

Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 0 (none)
Final Rating: 3 stars
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